Ben Kingsley Could Be Herod

For Mary Mother Of Christ

Ben Kingsley isn’t often evil on screen, but when he is, it’s usually fun to watch. Tony Stark is set to face him as a villain in Iron Man 3 and now he’s considering playing one of the nastiest Biblical troublemakers, King Herod in Mary Mother Of Christ.

Though the name sounds like something heavy fell on the writer’s fingers while they were typing the title, Mary is actually being dubbed an unofficial prequel to Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Chris**t.**

Co-written by Passion’s Benedict Fitzgerald alongside Barbara Nicolosi, the eventual film will chart Mary's (Odeya Rush) attempts to defy Herod and save her son. Peter O’Toole is attached to play Symeon, and Julia Ormond is Mary’s cousin Elizabeth.

Sanctum director Alister Grierson is on board to call the shots and the producers are also looking at offering roles to Judi Dench and Hugh Bonneville. If that last bit of casting comes off, the man currently most famous for playing Downton Abbey’s noble Robert Crawley will appear as Satan. Talk about switching teams...